A website is a collection of information pages on the Internet that are written by an individual, organization, company, or institution. Websites can range in a variety of topics including news, sports, travel, and many other interests and hobbies.
To make a citation for a website, you will need the following pieces of information:
The author’s name
The title of the article or page
The title of the website
*The name of the publisher
The date the page or site was published
On the publisher:
Only include the name of the publisher when it differs from the name of the website.
In previous versions of MLA, researchers were not required to include the URL. In MLA 8, it is strongly recommended to include the URL in the citation. Even though web pages and URLs can be taken down or changed, it is still possible to learn about the source from the information seen in the URL.
When including URLs in a citation, omit http:// and https:// from the website’s address.
When creating a citation that will be read on a digital device, it is helpful to make the URL clickable so that readers can directly access the source themselves.
Structure of a website citation in MLA 8:
Place the author’s name in reverse order, last name first, add a comma, and then the first name followed by a period. The title of the web page or article is placed in quotation marks, with a period before the end quotation. The title of the website is written in italics followed by a comma. If the name of the publisher differs from the name of the website, include it after the title. Immediately following the publisher is the date that the page or article was published, or posted. Finally, end with the URL. The URL is the website’s address.
Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Individual Page.” Title of the website, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.
Examples of website citations in MLA 8:
White, Lori. “The Newest Fad in People Helping People: Little Free Pantries.” Upworthy, Cloud Tiger Media, 3 Aug. 2016,
How to cite a website with no author in MLA 8:
Sometimes, websites do not clearly state who wrote the information on the page. When no author is listed, omit the author information from the citation. Start the citation with the title.
Example of a citation for a website without an author in MLA 8:
“Giant Panda.” Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institute, nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/giantpandas/pandafacts.
How to cite a website when there is no page title:
When citing a web page that does not include a formal title, it is acceptable to include a description of the page. Do not place the description in italics or in quotation marks. Follow the description with the name of the website.
Example of a website citation in MLA 8 when there is no page title in MLA 8:
General Information on the New York Mets. NYCData, The Weissman Center for International Business Baruch College/CUNY, www.baruch.cuny.edu/nycdata/sports/nymets.htm.
How to cite social media websites:
In an increasingly digital world, social media platforms have become one of the most popular sources students turn to when writing a research paper. Here are some examples of ways you can cite various social media platforms in your work:
Example of a twitter citation in MLA 8:
@TwitterHandle. “Content of Tweet.” Twitter, Date, Time, URL (omit http:// or https://).
@Britannica. “Nelson Mandela, who fought for racial equality and became South Africa’s 1st black president, was born #OTD in 1918.” Twitter, 18 Jul. 2017, 11:45 a.m.,twitter.com/Britannica/status/887382776747630594.
Example of citing Instagram in MLA 8:
Account holder’s Last name, First name or Username. “Photo Title or Description.”* Instagram, Other contributors, Date photo was published, URL (without http:// or https://).
*If no title is available, create a simple description and do not place it in italics or quotation marks.
National Geographic. Photo of Bering Sea. Instagram, photographed by Corey Arnold, 2 Apr. 2017, www.instagram.com/p/BSaisVuDk7S/?taken-by=natgeo.
Example of citing Facebook in MLA 8:
Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook,Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL. Accessed Day Month Year post was viewed.
Rick Mercer Report. Spread the Net Challenge Winners 2016. Facebook, 23 Mar. 2016, 9:00 a.m., www.facebook.com/rickmercerreport. Accessed 26 June 2016.
Example of citing comments on social media posts in MLA 8:
List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed near the comment), and the URL.
Not Omniscent Enough. Comment on “Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument After Pasta.” ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m., abcnews.go.com/US/flight-attendant-tells-passenger-shut-argument-pasta/story?id=39704050.
The following two sample research papers are typical of the papers that might be submitted in different kinds of courses.
Reading these papers will help you learn about organizing an argument and working with sources. The papers also demonstrate the use of MLA style to document sources and the formatting of the margins, line spacing, and other physical attributes of a printed paper. The MLA’s guidelines on formatting papers appear elsewhere on this site.
The sample papers were written by MLA staff members who are experienced college teachers. You may find that the writing and documentation seem polished. Because the sample papers serve as models, we aimed to make them free of errors in grammar and documentation. Nevertheless, we hope that the papers usefully represent good student work.
This paper, on Jacob Lawrence’s Migration series, shows you how to incorporate figures into your text, style a block quotation, and cite a variety of sources. Read about block quotations in the MLA Handbook (1.3.2–3, 1.3.7).
This paper, on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and the courtship novel, features examples of how to use notes in MLA style, cite a dictionary definition, and more.